You heard her talk about Paul Revere and how he warned the British, right? You heard her, as she waited on line at a deli in Boston, describe Revere’s famous ride as one where he rang bells and fired guns and announced how Americans were going to stay free and armed? You know I’m not making this up.
I almost feel bad for Sarah Palin. Then I remembered that she’s armed.
My good friend, a Conservative woman I love and respect, and with whom I discuss politics seriously, watched the video with me—Sarah Palin’s History of Bells and Whistles. As we sat together in my office, mesmerized by what we were seeing and hearing on the small screen, my friend’s sense of embarrassment was so profound, so heartfelt, and so blistering, it couldn’t help but rub off on me.
Isn’t Sarah Palin a victim of our nation’s educational system? Isn’t she just a poor soul, more to be pitied than ridiculed? Shouldn’t we blame her teachers for passing her, grade after grade, when what she really needed was the kind of focused attention her clear deficits demand?
Then I remembered how close she got to BEING ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
I remembered that PEOPLE WHO VOTE ADMIRE HER and support her candidacy.
I remember that not only does she want to restrict women’s rights to our own reproductive health but that she seeks to fight against almost everything else I believe in as well: a strong education for all, funding for the arts, support of health care generally, strong social services for those who most need them—you know, American values.
I remembered the enormous book advances and speaker’s fees not only for Palin but for the Palinette, Bristol.
Not that I’m bitter. I mean, Snooki gets a lot of money to speak. But Snooki doesn’t throw her weight around the political arena. She sticks to the boardwalk and to bars. Maybe she goes to Rutgers now and then to deliver a lecture when she needs cash, but she’s not going to Congress. Snooki knows better.
Of course, Snooki also probably knows the story of Paul Revere, but that’s a topic for another discussion.
This also gets to me: Palin’s supporters are already declaring her ignorance a badge of honor. (“She’s free from the tainted textbook versions of history professed by Lefty teachers.”) She will, no doubt, continue be regarded as a target of bullying and this question, too, will be dismissed as a piece of “gotcha” journalism. They’ll say she was busy, distracted, or kidding. They’ll say she was exhausted, worried about her children, and taking something for her allergies.
They’ll defend her from Arizona to Alaska and back again.
So while I don’t need to feel bad for Sarah Palin, it’s hard not to cringe—if only because of my friend.